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Nevada small businesses aren’t lacking in confidence when it comes to hiring more workers, a national survey found.
The Silver State’s small business sector ranked second nationwide for hiring intent, according to a study by San Francisco-based company Womply. The software company, which creates online platforms for local merchants and small businesses, polled nearly 5,000 small businesses in the United States this year, including about 80 in Nevada. Most of the businesses surveyed can be categorized as mom-and-pop shops with fewer than 15 employees.
The survey looked at various metrics, including optimism, wage hikes and hiring plans for the next 12 months. Nevada placed second for hiring intent, with 26 percent of small business owners saying they plan to hire new employees. Only Nebraska had a higher ratio at 28 percent.
Hiring intent is typically seen as an indicator of confidence, according to Womply.
“Small businesses are a potent force in the economy … and drive economic action and value,” said Brad Plothow, Womply’s vice president of marketing and communications. “If they’re planning to hire, it’s a good thing for everybody.”
The top 10 states for small businesses that plan to do more hiring this year are:
Louisiana small businesses fared worst in the survey, with only 5 percent expecting to hire new workers in the coming month.
Nevada’s small business sector also proved to be an optimistic bunch. The state placed with the top third of all states, nabbing the 15th highest rating for optimism. About four out of every five small business owners surveyed by Womply in the state indicated that they had a positive outlook for the coming year.
Plothow noted that an 80 percent optimism score would have topped the list last year.
“It’s a pretty remarkable number in itself,” Plothow said. “There’s a correlation between optimism and the kinds of decisions that drive economic value.”
Optimistic business owners, for example, are more than twice as likely to hire new people, Plothow said. They’re also three times more likely to give their workers raises and four times more likely to expand inventories.
South Carolina topped the list with 95 percent of small business owners being optimistic about the next 12 months. South Dakota was the least optimistic state for small business owners, with only 20 percent of respondents expressing a positive outlook.
One interesting finding in the study, however, is that some states that scored high for hiring intent ended up in the bottom group for optimism.
Nebraska, which topped the hiring intent indicator, was second-to-last for optimism, with just 27 percent of small business owners saying they were optimistic about the coming year. Minnesota, which was eighth for hiring intent received the fifth lowest score for optimism.
Asked about the disconnect, Plothow says it could be due to several reasons. Some areas just might have different expectations culturally about what is worth being optimistic about. Others could just be typical outliers from a data standpoint. Plothow cited some examples of outlier data, including a past study where Womply ranked all 365 days of the year to see which is most profitable for restaurants. One of the findings was that Cinco de Mayo was a better sales day for eating establishments than Valentine’s Day.
In the case of Nebraska, the Womply team couldn’t quite put its finger on the disconnect between hiring intent and optimism.
“Who knows what’s going on in Nebraska?” Plothow said half-jokingly. “You also see examples in other places where they still intend to hire despite saying they’re not optimistic. It could be that their bar for optimism is just higher.”